How to Open a PayPal Account in Nigeria

PayPal is a payment processor that lets you send or receive money from anybody in the world. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about PayPal and how to open a PayPal account that can send and receive money in Nigeria. 

I will like to explain some things to you before showing you how to open a PayPal account in Nigeria. If you want to skip the explanations, you can use the table of content to navigate to where you want to start reading from.

However, I will encourage to read everything as you may learn something new.

A Very Brief History of PayPal 

PayPal account

When Paypal was founded in 1998, it was named Confinity before the founders’ Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Luke Nosek rebranded it to PayPal in the year 2000. In 2002 after PayPal went public through an IPO, it became a subsidiary of eBay (later that year).

During this time, Nigerians could use PayPal to send and receive money. Unfortunately, some Nigerians used PayPal to defraud Americans and Europeans on sites like eBay, Amazon and Craigslist.

This led to the ban of Nigerians from using PayPal’s services around 2004.

Ten years later, PayPal lifted the ban but it came with a clause; Nigerian users could only send money from PayPal but were not allowed to receive.

I heard from an unreliable source that the Central Bank of Nigeria demands that PayPal must register as a Business in Nigeria before Nigerians would be allowed to receive money with their PayPal accounts. Meanwhile, PayPal is not willing to do this – yet.

Why you Need a PayPal Account

 Accepted Worldwide 

Paypal is the most Popular payment platform in the world with over 277 million users. Pymnts.com reports that 255 million of the total users are consumers while 22 million are merchants.

It is also the most used online Payment gateway in Europe and the United States. If the Nigerian Paypal account was able to receive money, it would have been the best way to get funds from relatives abroad instead of Western Union.

Customer Friendly

I guess why PayPal is popular is because it is more customer-friendly than it is merchant friendly.

Assuming a customer buys an item from a merchant and is not satisfied with the item, the customer has 180 days to request a refund on PayPal.

Although PayPal looks into refund disputes so that some mischievous customers won’t cheat the merchant.

In most cases, it is a win-win situation.

Security

There was a time I made payment with my debit card through a certain Payment gateway used by some government agencies in Nigeria. That same day I got debit alerts that was not initiated by me.

I reported the case to them on Twitter and they never replied. I went to my bank to complain, the lady at the bank just told me sorry.

While using PayPal to make payments, you do not have to reveal your debit card details. Your card details are encrypted on PayPal’s server.

PayPal is also PCI compliant so you have nothing to worry about.

Receive Payments from Affiliate Networks and Freelance Sites

This is the top reason why a lot of Nigerians want to own a PayPal account.

After getting bonuses from affiliate networks or earnings from freelancing sites, you definitely want to get paid.

Unfortunately, the Nigerian PayPal account cannot receive funds.

Types of PayPal Account in Nigeria

There are four ways to create a PayPal account in Nigeria. I would be explaining how to open them later on.

The four ways are as follow;

  1. Opening a PayPal Nigeria individual account.
  2. A PayPal Nigeria Merchant account.
  3. PayPal account through FirstOnline (FirstBank internet banking platform).
  4. Foreign PayPal accounts (Lesotho, Dubai, UK).

This is what distinguishes the four types of accounts mentioned above;

PayPal Nigeria Individual Account

This type lets you open a PayPal account in Nigeria without hiding your IP. You can only send money with this type of PayPal account but you cannot receive money from anyone.

You should use the Nigerian PayPal account if you only intend to pay for items on foreign websites.

PayPal Nigeria Merchant Account

This account type is for registered business owners in Nigeria. It allows you to send money and receive money through your website.

In essence, a PayPal user cannot send money to you directly unless they are paying for a product or service on your website.

If you sell goods or services to a foreign market, you can use the PayPal merchant account.

However, if your product or service is mainly for Africans, Paystack or Flutterwave is a good option.

PayPal Through FirstOnline (FirstBank Internet Banking)

When PayPal extended to Nigeria in 2014, it went into a partnership with FirstBank Nigeria. The main benefit of this partnership is instant PayPal verification for FirstBank customers.

A PayPal account through FirstBank doesn’t grant you access to receive money with PayPal.

It is basically the same thing with the aforementioned except that your account gets verified faster.

Foreign PayPal Accounts

Due to the fact that you cannot really do much with a Nigerian personal PayPal account, some people opt in for foreign PayPal accounts, i.e PayPal accounts of countries that can send and receive money.

The most popular of such countries are Dubai (UAE) and Lesotho.

Now, this PayPal account lets you send and receive money but it could also be a time bomb waiting to explode.

There have been lots of reports of people who PayPal seized the money in their accounts immediately after they (PayPal) noticed foul play.

How to Open a Nigerian PayPal Account

Before we get started on this, you need to know what you want to use your Nigerian PayPal account for.

Are you using it for your business (must have a website) or to pay for goods and services online?

Step 1: Visit PayPal.com.

Step 2: Choose your account type; personal or business.

You can select Personal by just clicking the top of the screen. For the merchant/business account, click on business account.

You can use the links below for easy access to the respective sign up pages;

Personal account: https://www.paypal.com/welcome/signup/.

Business account: https://www.paypal.com/bizsignup/.

Step 3: Enter your correct details.

If you are opening a business account, enter the name of your business as it is on your CAC certificate.

Please note that the information you fill in may be subject to verification so it is wise to fill everything correctly. If any information is wrong, you may lose your account with the funds in it.

Step 4: Confirm your email address.

Login to your email address, open the message from PayPal and click the confirm your email address button.

You will be asked to enter your password again to confirm.

Step 5: Enter your debit card details.

Most MasterCard and Visa debit cards from Nigerian banks work. Although there have been reports of some bank cards not working.

Some of the banks that work perfectly with PayPal include;

  1. Zenith Bank.
  2. Gtbank.
  3. Access Bank.

Once you have entered your card details, an equivalent of $1.95 will be debited from your bank account.

This is to verify that your card actually works. The money will be refunded after you have verified your PayPal account.

Step 6: Verify your Paypal Account.

A four digit code will be sent to your mobile phone. On getting this code, login to your PayPal account.

Click on Activate account and enter the four-digit code. The code you need to enter is the four-digit number after *PP.

Note: The *PP code can also be found in your statement of account.

If you don’t get this code in an SMS, login to your bank’s internet banking platform to view your statement of account or go to your bank to request for your statement of account.

How to Open a Dubai/Lesotho PayPal Account

A Dubai or Lesotho PayPal account gives you the privilege to send and receive money through PayPal. However, you have to be careful while using it as I stated earlier.

If you had a PayPal account prior to this, it’s advisable you close it and maintain only this new account.

Step 1: Visit the PayPal website of the corresponding country you want.

Dubai: https://www.paypal.com/ae.

Lesotho: https://paypal.com/LS.

Dubai PayPal sign up

Step 2: Select personal account.

If you select a business account, you may be asked to present registered business documents.

Step 3: Fill in your correct details.

You should enter your correct phone number and address. An international passport is the best proof of identity on PayPal; although other ones still work fine.

Step 4: Add your Debit card.

Login to your PayPal account and click on add debit card. Enter your card details and click on save.

For Dubai and Lesotho PayPal account, your card details are verified automatically.

Best Practices

These are some of the things you need to do to prevent your PayPal account from getting banned;

Do no leave huge sums in Foreign PayPal accounts

If you opened a Foreign PayPal account, do not leave huge sums of money you cannot afford to lose in the account. You can use the services of PayPal exchangers in Nigeria to withdraw your money from PayPal.

Use a Dedicated VPN

One of the reasons why PayPal limits account is because of the fluctuating IP address people use to access their accounts. This is for security purpose only.

Nigerian internet service providers (ISP) do not give dedicated IP addresses.

To prevent your PayPal from getting flagged, you should use a dedicated VPN of the countries PayPal you opened.

If you opened a Dubai PayPal, use a dedicated Dubai VPN to access your PayPal account.

I doubt if there’s a dedicated VPN for Lesotho.

If you need a dedicated VPN for your PayPal account, I recommend dedicated VPN’s from IJAM Exchange. They also have other tools to you might need to operate your Foreign PayPal account.

Be honest with your Dealings

Only request for a refund when it is necessary. PayPal can limit your account if they notice a pattern of frequent refunds.

Do not use your PayPal account for illegal businesses or to scam. If you do, your account will definitely get banned.

Buy PayPal Funds only from Legitimate Sellers

If you buy PayPal funds from people who get their own funds through illegal means, the funds will be seized and probably returned back to the owner.

Your PayPal account might no get banned but most exchange will not issue you a refund.

Conclusion

Owning a PayPal account opens you to a world of possibilities. As a business person, you can sell your product or service to anyone in the world.

When customers buy products or service through PayPal, they are certain to get their money back if you don’t deliver quality service to them – This alone makes people prefer PayPal to other payment methods.

As a business owner that provides quality goods and service, this translates to more sales for you.

If you are a freelancer or an affiliate marketer, a PayPal account that can receive money means more income for you.

I hope in the nearest feature, Nigerians will be able to receive money through PayPal without using VPN’s.

What problem are you having opening a PayPal account? let’s hear from you in the comment section.

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50 Comments

  1. I need your help please, I opened a Dubai business PayPal account using my real address and phone number, I linked it up with my UBA Africard and was able to withdraw money once, the second time, PayPal limited the account and is asking for Photo ID and Proof of address, what can I do please? Should I go ahead and use my National ID card and Bank statement as proof of address even if it shows Nigeria.

  2. Please my uba prepaid afri card international high get decline try another payment method but on the PayPal app i get transaction cannot be completed at this time am frustrated and fed up HELP!

    1. It could be that your bank blocked transactions with Paypal. You can try the Zenith Bank Mastercard.

  3. Am having issues with linking my prepaid uba afri card…declining on web on the app it says we cannot complete transaction at this time…am just fed up.

    1. Try linking a Zenith Bank Mastercard. It worked for someone recently.

  4. Hello bro

    I opened a UAE PayPal account and tried linking my AccessBank dollar card, but got the notification that my account had been temporarily restricted because there seemed to be some suspicious activity.

    I was then required to upload an ID to resolve the issue which I did.

    What could be responsible for this?

    Could it be because I used a UAE billing address?

    Or the fact I didn’t use a UAE VPN?

    I’ve got friends who opened theirs similarly without the use of a VPN and it works just fine.

    Could it also be because I started the process on chrome on my computer but completed it on the same browser on my mobile phone?

    I had to do this because I got a forbidden error message while trying to set it up on my PC.

    Now I’m worried because even though I uploaded the document ( NIN Slip ) as required, the address on it is Nigerian while I’ve got a UAE billing address on PayPal.

    I know people who set up their accounts in the same way without issues.

    Why is my account flagged so early?

    Warm regards
    Harris

    1. PayPal bots flag accounts when they suspect anything suspicious for security reasons. Your UAE billing address is not an issue. It’s possible your IP address changed when you changed your device.

      For now, just wait for a response from Paypal.

      The response will determine your next line of action.

  5. Hi
    Ok plz how can I receive payment from an online survey paid site directly to my personal PayPal n transfer to my local bank account please m living in Nigeria..what should I do ?

    1. Bluehost can do a direct deposit to your domiciliary account if you earn huge amounts of money from their affiliate programme. You can contact the Bluehost affiliate customer care support.

  6. I don’t have international passport,
    Please can I open foreign PayPal account without international passport?
    Pls whatsapp me:081233500**

  7. Hi Chris.
    Please I need to open a PayPal account. I’m a freelancer . Payment for some jobs are only paid into PayPal account. I have domiciliary account and Visa card(dollar) with Gtbank. Can I use this card for opening an account? How do I really do the opening of the PayPal account?
    Thanks

    1. I haven’t tried the cards you mentioned but I think they should work. I verified mine with Zenith Bank’s Mastercard.

  8. Hello 👋. Thank you for this informative piece. I tried opening an account using the Lesotho link you shared, but I am stocked at Country/phonenumber. It is not possible to use Lesotho as your country, without using a Lesotho phone number. I would like to ask, if I change country to Nigeria and also use a Nigerian phone number, will I still be able to receive payment?

  9. Good morning,Please how do I set my Average transaction price on PayPal lesotho account? I tried doing this but it’s not showing on the page i am suppose to perform this action.I want to know if paypal has edited and updated this on their webpage/if i really need to set the Average transaction price.

  10. Hi Chris, thanks for your awesome post. I have a working UAE paypal, do you think it is advisable to add my Nigerian number to the account? I registered it with a fake UAE number. I’m concerned especially because of The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is a new European Union directive that might make PayPal require you get verified through your mobile number.

    1. It is better to use your Nigerian phone number because you may be asked to verify your phone number as security measures by PayPal since you used a fake number.

  11. Thank you for this deatiled guide, i have followed your steps but keep getting stock at the zip code for opening a business account, it keeps telling me invalid zip code, I have used
    23401, 00176, 11001, 500001, and I have run out of options,

    please what I’m I doing wrong?

  12. Hi Chris, thank you so much for the detailed post. As a Merch on Etsy/ Amazon, that is registered as an individual and not a company, how can I bypass the CAC details if I want to open a Nigerian Business PayPal account?

    You mentioned that it’s important to fill in your business name as it appears on your CAC form, how can I by pass this if I don’t have a registered business, but offer serves on Etsy, Amazon etc.

    Thank you.

    1. You cannot bypass providing your CAC details for a Nigerian PayPal Business account. Thank you for your comment.

  13. Since PayPal restrict Nigeria from receiving money. Please, am opening a Lesotho PayPal account in Nigeria , and am into freelancer job, if I recieve the US dollar money on my cash board for survey work done, and I want to withdraw the money being converted to naira to my Nigeria bank account using my debit card. How am going to recieve the and collect the money on my bank account?

    1. Some Nigerian users have been able to withdraw by connecting the UBA Africard. However, I cannot guarantee that this method will keep working for a long time. The best way to withdraw your PayPal funds is to sell to other users or PayPal exchangers.

    2. Please do you know any recommended legit PayPal exchanger in Nigeria that I can sell the PayPal funds to ?

  14. Please I opened a Nigerian personal PayPal so as to be able to send money abroad. But I need clarification if there’s limit to amount I can send. Cos I’m sending to pay for goods and it’s gonna be a day to day transaction. Thank as you give response.

    1. Nigerian PayPal account work with your debit card, when you ant to send money, PayPal deducts the money from your bank through your debit card.

      There is no limit from PayPal’s end. However, the debit card you connect to PayPal matters. Some banks have lower limits.

    2. Please how do I contact you personally I need your help. I’m having issues with my paypal and I need it for my work. Been stranded for weeks now. Please 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  15. I open a Lesotho PayPal business account in Nigeria can I get pay through affliate marketing from my website ??
    And also can I add my access Bank credit card for payment

    1. Yes, you can use it to receive payments from Affiliate networks and you can also add your Access Visa card.

  16. Thank you so much Chris for this expository article. I need a PayPal account to receive payments from affiliate marketing networks based in the USA. I currently have a verified Personal Paypal account which I opened here in Nigeria. I just discovered that I cannot use it to receive payments hence, following your guide, I intend opening a Business PayPal account. However, I have some questions.

    1. Can I link the Visa debit card for my personal bank account to the new PayPal Business I am about to open? As in will it work?

    2. Is it compulsory that the name on my CAC certificate be same with the name on the Visa debit card which I will link to the PayPal business account?

    3. When is the right time to get the UBA Africard with which I will be able to withdraw my payments. Is it BEFORE or AFTER opening the PayPal business account?

    4. Since the affiliate networks are not buying from my WEBSITE but are actually sending me payments, Can they still be able to pay me my commissions using the PayPal business account details I am about to open?

    5. With a dollar denominated domiciliary account, having a Visa Credit card attached to the domiciliary account, can it be used to withdraw from my PayPal business account? Or it just has to be that UBA Africard that can be used for withdrawal?

    Please pardon me for my numerous questions. I look forward to reading your reply.

    Thanks a lot. Cheers.

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment Uche.

      If you open a Nigerian Business PayPal account, you cannot use it to receive commissions from affiliate networks. A Nigerian Paypal account only lets you receive money through your own website.

      Your best bet is to open a Dubai PayPal account and subscribe for a dedicated VPN. I recommend the services of IJAM Exchange for this, they can also help you open a PayPal account and you can get back to them if you have any issues with your account.

      You can get the UBA Africard before or after you open the account.

      Hope this helps you.

  17. Thanks Sir, for the write-up. Quite informative. My question stems from your write-up on “PayPal Nigeria Individual Account” which states “……..but you cannot receive money from anyone”. Does this imply that one cannot get paid for online tasks requiring paymets be made through pay-pal, or you meant one could be paid but cannot cash-out such payments from the “accounts”?.

    1. It depends on the PayPal account you open. A Dubai and Lesotho PayPal account allows you to send and receive money.

    2. Thanks for the reply. My question simply is can money be paid into one’s Nigerian PayPal Account even if one cannot withdraw from it.

      Thanks again.

    3. Yes, you can receive money from a Nigerian business PayPal account but you can only receive it via your website. This means nobody can send you money directly from PayPal unless they purchase something from you on your website.

  18. I have a verified nigerian business PayPal account. I’d like to use it for my biz website as a payment gateway to collect payments.
    Now my question is how do I withdraw the funds from my business paypal account?
    Since paypal allows biz accounts in Nigeria would I be able to withdraw directly instead of using exchangers in Nigeria?
    Thanks.

    1. You can withdraw from your PayPal account by connecting a UBA Africard. Visit any United Bank of Africa Branch and request for an Africard, you need to go with your means of identity and utility bill.

      Once you have gotten the card, connect it to your PayPal account and you are good to go.

    2. You have really done a wonderful job in your expository article as well as response to the inquiries. However I have a question: with Nigerian business PayPal account, can I send funds or pay bills on Etsy?

  19. Thanks for this information, it really helpful
    Sir can I get ur Whatsapp number or email address?

    1. Hi Hans-Jürgen, It’s true that you can use a Lesotho PayPal account without VPN but there has been cases where PayPal limits an account because they suspect some fraudulent activities on the account due to the I.P address.